This September marks the 20th annual National Preparedness Month, a time for everyone to recognize the importance of preparedness and take steps that protect themselves and their loved ones. As part of this year’s preparedness campaign that focuses on empowering older adults as they prepare for disasters, FEMA released the Disaster Preparedness Guide for Older Adults.
The Disaster Preparedness Guide for Older Adults is intended to support older adults and their caregivers in preparing in three easy steps: assess your needs, create a plan and engage your network. The guide provides easy-to-read, user-friendly worksheets that walk individuals and caregivers through a self-assessment to identify specific needs and checklists that create a personalized plan.
“Our partners gave us the insight needed to create a preparedness product that will work for older adults and their caregivers,” said FEMA External Affairs Director Justin Ángel Knighten. “The Disaster Preparedness Guide for Older Adults is a people-centered product that will help us close the disaster preparedness gap and better meet people where they are, specifically older adults from low-income and rural communities, or those living with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.”
Earlier this summer FEMA hosted a Disaster Preparedness and Older Adults National Summit with community-based organizations, federal partners and FEMA’s Seasoned Employee Resource Group. These committed and passionate experts provided insights into the challenges older adults and their caregivers face in preparing for disasters, as well as understanding of the strength and resilience of older adults. The learnings from this summit informed this guide, resulting in tailored messaging and tools. While designed for older adults, the guide provides step-by-step preparedness tools that are inclusive for all people.
The worksheets and checklists in this guide were developed for older adults to “Take Control in 1, 2, 3.” Visit Ready.gov/Older-Adults to download this guide and for more preparedness resources to share in your community.
This guide is part of FEMA’s commitment to national preparedness. Earlier this month, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell signed an agreement formalizing the partnership between FEMA and the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers, which recognizes the critical role caregivers play in protecting our nation’s older adult community.
To ensure this information is accessible to as many people as possible, the guide will be available in Spanish and other languages in the coming months.
For more information on how to prepare yourself, your loved ones and your community, visit Ready.gov.